, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sometimes Germany becomes a land of wonders, as the 2016 edition of Rock Hard Festival features all four seasons in just one single weekend, whereas the remaining 362 days seem to know but a warm and a cold rain season…Friday has little to offer for me, as I have never been that much into Thrash Metal. But on the plus side, there is much time to stroll around for some sight-seeing (not that anything much changes, but just in case). This year also marks the second time, Psychorizon teams up with our partner in crime, Queen Of Spades Photography. So we did stroll and strut around and ran into all kinds of folks. One, who caught our attention right away, was the owner of the battle jacket displayed below, due to one certain patch. Guess you’ll figure out which one it is yourselves.

RHF_2Party on Wayne!

As much as the event itself has become well established within the past twelve years, things do change in time, like the short-lived Metal Karaoke, that vanished into oblivion and the rather new trade of featuring at least one up-and-coming local act. Just where Deserted Fear left off last year, we now become victim of an evenly brilliant onslaught delivered by Sulphur Aeon. Being part of the constantly growing Ván Records family, this band got an instant reputation and easily proves it to be just. Though I’m not too much into this particular vocal style, the brutal three-piece manages to gather a pretty massive crowd in the early afternoon, presenting its very own blend of Death Metal with lyrics based around the Cthulhu myth.

RHF_Sulphur AeonSetlist Sulphur Aeon

1. Cthulhu Rites (Intro)
2. Incantation
3. Abysshex
4. Titans
5. Swallowed By The Ocean’s Tide
6. Inexorable Spirits
7. Gateway To The Antisphere
8. Onwards… Towards Kadath!

RHF_1RHF kicks ass!

Up next with  the sun is still relentlessly shining bright from the sky, another pathway to darkness opens with Swedish sensation Tribulation (rhyme intended). After they caused quite a stir in late January, touring alongside the recently reformed Grave Pleasures, audiences at club TuRock, Essen totally fell in love with their slightly punkish style – regarding both sound and looks – and are eager to relive the sweaty atmosphere of a fully packed venue today. The Arvika-based Quartette is looking back on over a decade of band history already and has gained international success with ist most recent releases “The Children Of The Night” (2015) and the 2016-EP “Melancholia”. Emerging from the darkness of the Swedish Death Metal abyss in 2004, the band immediately stood apart from what was already a crowded scene, betraying an uncompromising vision that refused to be shackled by any genre stereotypes. With a willful drive, an irresistible groove, bewitching melodies and a haunting atmosphere, “The Children Of The Night” captures a true sense of drama and heaviness despite the strangely accessible nature of its compositions.

RHF_Tribulation_1 RHF_Tribulation_2 RHF_Tribulation_3 RHF_Tribulation_4 RHF_Tribulation_5Setlist Tribulation

1. Intro
2. Strange Gateways Beckon
3. Melancholia
4. In The Dreams Of The Dead
5. Rånda
6. Ultra Silvam
7. The Motherhood Of God
8. When The Sky Is Black With Devils

RHF_Grand Magus_1 RHF_Grand Magus_2 RHF_Grand Magus_3The band Manowar will never be!

Another part of this years’ Swedish invasion might have taken the train from Stockholm or came riding down on hooves of gold – either way, Grand Magus embody the spirit of Heavy Metal in a most authentic manner. Founded by frontman JB Christofferson and bassplayer Mats “Fox” Skinner in 1996, the band was completed two years later with drummer Fredrik “Trisse” Liefvendahl joining and the first two demos were released. In 2001 the self-titled debut album – obviously inspired by the late creative period of bands such as Black Sabbath or Deep Purple came out. 15 years and seven records in their books, Grand Magus just got their latest attempt out in time for the festival season – on Friday, May 13th 2016.

Setlist Grand Magus

1. I, The Jury
2. Sword Of The Ocean
3. Like The Oar Strikes The Water
4. Varangian
5. Steel Versus Steel
6. Arv
7. Triumph And Power
8. Iron Will
9. Hammer Of The North

RHF_Kadavar_1 RHF_Kadavar_2 RHF_Kadavar_3 RHF_Kadavar_4 RHF_Kadavar_5 RHF_Kadavar_6Berlin, Baby!

Sometimes the basics is all you need: One guitar, a bass, drums and one voice – or in other words: Kadavar. It‘s the enormous emotional energy that is unleashed show after show, combined with unforgettable memories and impressions of continuous touring one can feel on “Berlin” in every line and every strum. Though recorded live in the studio on the band‘s own analog gear again, it‘s distinctly audible that this time round the record turned out even deeper regarding songwriting and arrangements – and that Lindemann, Bartelt and Bouteloup have actually spent more time on the recordings than ever before.

Setlist Kadavar

1. Lord Of The Sky
2. Pale Blue Eyes
3. Doomsday Machine
4. The Old Man
5. Last Living Dinosaur
6. Living In Your Head
7. Black Sun
8. Goddess Of Dawn
9. Thousand Miles Away From Home
10. All Our Thoughts
11. Come Back Life

And that’s all for this year – see you all again in 2017!!!

RHF_3All pictures courtesy of Queen Of Spades Photography


Rock Hard Festival Homepage

Rock Hard Festival Facebook Page